The weather is getting warmer and our minds are turning toward fun outdoor activities this time of year. Our furry friends tend to spend much more time outside as well, raising our concern for “buggy” encounters. While warmer weather does bring an increase in insect activity, truth be told fleas, and more importantly, potentially fatal ticks are a concern year round. Year-round prevention is mandatory to prevent tick-borne disease. Ticks actively seek a blood meal when temperatures exceed 40 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving you and your pet at risk. With the extreme jump in tick-borne diseases in our area, we must change our thinking about tick prevention and tick-borne diseases. The number of diagnosed Lyme cases has skyrocketed in the states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Consider the following data from the Companion Animal Parasite Council in WV and PA, as well as in our two most local counties:
||2165 (1 in 15 tested)
||1015 (1 in 20 tested)
|Monongalia County, WV
||236 (1 in 20 tested)
||40 (1 in 43 tested)
||41,067 (1 in 8 tested)
||23,508 (1 in 8 tested)
|Fayette County, PA
||283 (1 in 13 tested)
||20 (1 in 13 tested)
As you can see Lyme disease is on the rise. Along with Lyme disease we are also seeing more Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis in our area. There is some good news. We do have some very effective flea and tick products at our disposal. There is a product for every pet and client preference. Some suggestions are newer oral flea and tick preventatives such as Nexgard, Simparica and Bravecto. Effective topical choices (which include repellant properties) are Advantix and Vectra3D. A long lasting Seresto collar is also an option. Unfortunately ticks can still be seen and can even attach with these products being utilized. The good news is that in the estimated 24-48 hours it takes for disease transmission to occur, the tick should die. Lyme vaccination is also a strong recommendation here at CLAH. This vaccine protects against missed monthly prevention but should not be considered as a substitute for tick prevention. Any further questions or concerns can be discussed with your veterinarian.
~Chuck Wolfe, DVM
Enjoying the Ride
Getting your cat or cats to their veterinary visits is important and often challenging.
The safe mode of transportation is a carrier, and it can be your cat’s happy place.
Please try these suggestions:
1. Do not wait until appointment day to drag the cat carrier from storage. Instead, have it sitting out with the door open (or temporarily removed) and put a soft blanket or towel, a few toys and treats inside so your kitty may explore. You will know that a visit has occurred if the treats are gone or the blanket is rustled. If you see your kitty in the carrier give him or her some verbal praise and a treat.
2. Practice runs may be helpful if you have time. Simply close the carrier door and walk around the very familiar house with your pet. Going to pick up some fast food? Take your kitty for a ride and when the two of you return, you get dinner and kitty gets rewarded with treats.
3. Appointment day is here. Please be calm as cats tune in to your stress. I suggest putting the familiar carrier, kitty and you into a small room with door closed. If entering carrier with ease isn’t happening at least you won’t be playing “chase the cat” throughout your home. Sit carrier upright and allow gravity to assist you by dropping pet in feet first. Bring a towel or small blanket that smells familiar to cover carrier if he or she is frightened in the car, and remember hiding keeps your kitty feeling safe.
4. Have you dealt with motion sickness or accidents in the carrier that have you rolling down the windows? Don’t feed 3-4 hours before your trip. An extra towel, blanket, or multiple paper towels will prevent kitty from becoming soiled and we know cats love to be clean.
Contact us at (304)594-1124 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about traveling safe with your kitty!
We are striving to be feline friendly😻,
H.L. Kossuth DVM and staff of CLAH
Curtis is a 4th year veterinary student at West Virginia University. He is from Sistersville, WV. Curtis enjoys playing soccer, volleyball and the piano. He has a 15-year old Shih-Tzu at home named Kowe. He chose a rotation with CLAH to have basic knowledge of veterinary medicine, hoping it will help him in the community pharmacy setting, which is where he hopes to be after graduation.
Lauren is a 4th year veterinary student at West Virginia University. She is from Baltimore, MD and enjoys hiking and kayaking. She has fish and her dog Lumi at home. She plans to do some traveling after graduation and then find employment in a community/retail pharmacy. She is interested in having a better understanding of animal medications to further her future practice.
Dylan is a 4th year pharmacy student from Marshall University. He is from Sand Fork, West Virginia. He has three dogs, Bear, Bo, and Peaches. Dylan would like to work in retail pharmacy after graduation and hopes to gain new information about veterinary medications during his rotation with CLAH. Welcome Dylan!
Jenny is from Berkeley Springs, WV and is a 4th year WVU Pharmacy student. She enjoys playing tennis, skiing, and reading. She has a 13 year old Shepherd mix who loves to nap! Jenny is currently pursuing a Residency program post-graduation. She would like to eventually work in a VA hospital/outpatient clinic. She chose her rotation with CLAH because she wants to learn how medications are used in animals, beyond what she’s learned in class about indications in humans. Plus, she enjoys spending time around all kinds of furry creatures!
Rachel is from Cumberland, MD and is a 4th year WVU Pharmacy student. She likes to shoot pool, enjoys drawing, and traveling. She has 3 cats at home. After graduation she would like to work in a retail pharmacy in her hometown. She chose her rotation here because she has always loved animals. She was in 4-H and FFA and did her Associates degree in Animal Science. She is interested in seeing the application of common medications in the veterinary population.
Welcome Jenny and Rachel!